Alan Wallace has devoted much of his professional life to the interface between Buddhist meditation and science. Following on work already done with Dr. Clifford Saron in the Shamatha Project, he is proposing the establishment of an International Shamatha Project, modelled on the Human Genome Project, that will bring together Buddhist teachers and meditators to explore effective ways of achieving shamatha, which, sometimes translated as calm abiding meditation, comprises concentration practices designed to enhance sustained voluntary attention.
I am happy to support his suggestion to expand existing collaboration amongst teachers and meditators worldwide to include multiple teachers and traditions.
I am also encouraged by the prospect that the Project may collaborate with psychologists and neuroscientists conducting research on shamatha meditators to discover which methods are most appropriate for which people to develop shamatha in the modern world. The prospect of Buddhist mind science becoming better understood both in the scientific community and in society at large is inspiring. I wish the Project every success.
July 3, 2009
The Dalai Lama